Today, I wanted to tell you about my brand new greenhouse and hopefully get some greenhouse growing tips from some of you experts out there!
Remember a few weeks ago when I shared my DIY Herb Garden Planter? Well, I mentioned in that post that I’d love to take my herb garden one step further and start growing my own fruit and veg and the very next week, I got a lovely email from Shedstore asking me if I would like to review one of their greenhouses and get started with a bit of fruit and veg greenhouse growing.
My first thought was no, and that’s because when I think of greenhouses, I think of the ugly silver coloured aluminium one that my Dad used to have when I was younger. He grew tomatoes and cucumbers every year throughout my childhood and I used to love following him down to the bottom of the garden on a Summer evening on the off chance that I’d be allowed the honour of watering the plants. 😉
As happy as those memories are for me and as much as I wanted to start growing more fruit and veg, the idea of an ugly metal greenhouse in my garden didn’t fill me with excitement.
But when I looked at the greenhouse they were asking me to review, I completely changed my mind because it was exactly what I would have picked if I’d pictured my ideal greenhouse then this would be it! Honestly, just look at how pretty it is!
(Ignore the patchy grass please, we’re really struggling with it a the moment)
As you’d expect, the greenhouse came as a flat pack and had to be built which caused Mr Frugal to have a mini-meltdown as he does not do well in DIY situations. It all turned out OK though as he called in the help of two friends (thank you guys) who had it up and looking greenhouse-like within a couple of hours.
I have to admit, I went out while they were building it because (a) I wanted to avoid the inevitable swearing and whining and (b) something always goes wrong when Mr Frugal builds things – he either builds it wrong and has to take it apart again or he convinces himself there’s a bit missing and he gets really annoyed when I try to help by pointing out where he went wrong. 😉
I came back to find the three of them sat on the grass in the back garden drinking Pepsi Max and looking extremely satisfied with themselves at having managed to build a greenhouse that not only resembled the picture on the box but also one that felt sturdy and strong. They said it wasn’t the easiest thing to build but that equally, it wasn’t the most complicated and pretty much anyone could do it. It’s definitely a two man job though apparently with a third pair of hands coming in extremely handy at times throughout the process – even if that third pair of hands belonged to Mr Frugal who I’m told took a more supervisory role in the building process.
I’m not sure if you can properly tell the size from my photos but it’s quite small for a greenhouse at just 5ft x 2ft which makes it ideal for someone like me who wants something small that isn’t going to take over the whole garden. The shelves inside are brilliant with two fixed shelves on either side and two shelves on the back wall that can either be folded up and locked on to the side shelves or just left flat against the back wall. You can see in this picture that I have one folded up for the tomato plants and the top one is just left for now.
Two of the four panels in the roof also open to give the greenhouse a bit of ventilation which will be brilliant for hot days.
As soon as it was built, I couldn’t wait to get painting and to try and spend as little on paint as possible, I started with a lemon colour that I already had in the garage from painting some garden furniture the year before last. I think it was when the B&Q Valspar tester pots were on sale for £1 a pot and I’d bought a few of various different colours and not used them all. I had about a pot and a half of the yellow so I decided to paint the middle section yellow and literally ran out of paint just as I finished that section.
I then bought a small tub of Ronseal outdoor paint in Sage which cost me about £9 to do the rest of the greenhouse and again, I ran out just as I got to the end but I think I might need to get another tub at some point to give it a second coat.
The floor has a plastic membrane on it and is then covered with white gravel which we bought on offer at B&Q as the bags were split – the man was just rebagging the gravel and marking the cost down as we got there so he gave us the three bags of gravel for half the price.
I honestly love it and can’t wait to get properly started with my greenhouse growing!
So far, as you can probably see from the photos above, I have some tomato plants, a chilli plant and some strawberries in a grow bag.
I’ve got a lot of research to do going forward so that I can keep my little greenhouse fully stocked for as much of the year as possible but before I sit down with my notebook and Google, I’d love to hear your ideas for greenhouse growing at this time of year in there.
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